Telemetry Policy DRAFT
Application telemetry data can be a valuable tool for tailoring our products to the needs of our users. The following rules define how KDE collects and uses such application telemetry data. As privacy is of utmost importance to us, the general rule of thumb is to err on the side of caution here. Privacy always trumps any need for telemetry data, no matter how legitimate.
These rules apply to all products released by KDE.
We provide detailed information about the data that is going to be shared, in a way that:
- is easy to understand
- is precise and complete
- is available locally without network connectivity
Any changes or additions to the telemetry functionality of an application will be highlighted in the corresponding release announcement.
We give the user full control over what data they want to share with KDE. In particular:
- application telemetry is always opt-in, that is off by default
- application telemetry settings can be changed at any time, and are provided as prominent in the application interface as other application settings
- applications honor system-wide telemetry settings where they exist (global "kill switch")
- we provide detailed documentation about how to control the application telemetry system
In order to ensure control over the data after it has been shared with KDE, applications will only transmit this data to KDE servers, that is servers under the full control of the KDE sysadmin team.
We will provide a designated contact point for users who have concerns about the data they have shared with KDE. While we are willing to delete data a user no longer wants to have shared, it should be understood that the below rules are designed to make identification of data of a specific user impossible, and thus a deletion request impractical.
We do not transmit data that could be used to identify a specific user. In particular:
- we will not use any unique device, installation or user id
- data is stripped of any unnecessary detail and downsampled appropriately before sharing to avoid fingerprinting
- network addresses (which are exposed inevitably as part of the data transmission) are not stored together with the telemetry data, and must only be stored or used to the extend necessary for abuse counter-measures
We only track the bare minimum of data necessary to answer specific questions, we do not collect data preemptively or for exploratory research. In particular, this means:
- collected data must have a clear purpose
- data is downsampled to the maximum extend possible at the source
- relevant correlations between individual bits of data should be computed at the source whenever possible
- data collection is stopped once corresponding question has been answered
We will never transmit anything containing user content, or even just hints at possible user content such as e.g. file names, URLs, etc.
We will only ever track:
- system information that are specific to the installation/environment, but independent of how the application/machine/installation is actually used
- statistical usage data of an installation/application
KDE only releases products capable of acquiring telemetry data if compliance with these rules has been established by a public review on [kde-core-devel|kde-community]@kde.org from at least two reviewers. The review has to be repeated for every release if changes have been made to how/what data is collected.
Received data is regularly reviewed for violations of these rules, in particular for data that is prone to fingerprinting. Should such violations be found, the affected data will be deleted, and data recording will be suspended until compliance with these rules has been established again. In order to enable reviewing of the data, every KDE contributor with a developer account will have access to all telemetry data gathered by any KDE product.